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True Luxury: Beginning at the End

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A "no tomorrow" approach to life is actually pretty depressing.

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Tombstones were a lot more fun prior to the nineteenth century. Many of them contained epitaphs in addition to dates and names. For example:

Here lies my poor wife, much lamented,
She is happy and I am contented.


Here lies Lord Coningsby -- be civil,
The rest God knows -- so does the Devil.


Now, of course, we usually etch just the name and dates.

As a kid, I'd relieve the boredom of hanging out in graveyards by trying to imagine the life and death of the people buried there. Thanks to those odd Memorial Day pursuits, I felt early on the need to take seriously the ideas that "life is short" and "you can't take it with you" (the latter, the title of a great movie, by the way).

Unfortunately many people, when faced with our inevitable stony ending, live their lives literally like there's no tomorrow. Pleasure is taken quickly and almost randomly as it comes along. Consequently, they don't plan how they spend their money or time. Anything they can
reasonably "afford" and access immediately is a done deal. (Bet you were wondering if you were still on the 'Ville, didn't you? I was getting around to talking about money, it just took a while.)

I've noticed, however, the "no tomorrow" approach to life is singularly depressing. And let's face it, for most people, tomorrow does come with alarming regularity despite their uplifting plans to be dead. Unhappy with that approach to life, I realized over a period of years that I wanted to pursue True Luxury -- a decidedly more planned and thoughtful lifestyle.

So what is True Luxury? To begin with it, it's not Sold Luxury. Sold Luxury is the kind advertisers, movies, and the media sell. BMWs and mansions. Swimming pools and movie
stars. Corinthian leather and two-ply toilet paper with "cottony" softness.

A life lived in True Luxury admittedly does include some Sold Luxuries, but it's very rarely about $500 dinners and people named Jeeves. Instead, True Luxury is a life as free as possible from self-induced stress. It's pursuing your dreams and your values -- in your timeframe.

True Luxury is spending your hard-earned money in the way that gives you long-lasting joy.
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